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11th Annual GPAC Meeting Appreciates Japanese Government Support and Reconfirms the Effectiveness of GP

1 Feb 2013

Chairperson Teisuke Kitayama (standing) opening the 11th annual GPAC meeting in Tokyo.

The 11th Annual Meeting of the Green Productivity Advisory Committee (GPAC) of the APO was held in Tokyo, 28 January 2013. The GPAC comprises high-level representatives from over 65 leading Japanese corporations that have demonstrated excellence and innovation in environmental products, technologies, and services and supported the APO’s GP activities in the Asia-Pacific region. The meeting was chaired by Chairman of the Board of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Teisuke Kitayama.

In his opening remarks, Chairperson Kitayama stated that, “Industry-driven actions and efforts are imperative for achieving a sustainable society. The GPAC’s common goals will benefit society and industry in Japan and beyond, and at the same time manage the challenges brought about by global warming.” He went on to introduce the five new members who joined the GPAC during the previous year.

The first item on the agenda was an outline of the GP Program in 2013. APO Industry Department Director Setsuko Miyakawa highlighted the 13 projects that will focus on GP challenges and issues. She was especially appreciative of a special cash grant from the Government of Japan that will enable three of those projects to be held in Japan: two observational study missions, one on Photovoltaic and Solar Cell Technology and the other on Technology and Management of Water/Wastewater and Sewage Systems; and the Asia Environment and Economic Forum.

Next was the future direction of the Eco-products Directory/Database project, undertaken by the APO in cooperation with the GPAC since 2004 to publicize eco-products and -services available in the Asia-Pacific. APO Secretariat Industry Department Program Officer Masaya Amau explained the results of promotion on 2012 edition and the future direction of the series. GPAC Vice-Chairperson Ryoichi Yamamoto, who is also the Chairperson of the Committee for Establishment of the Eco-products Database and Emeritus Professor, University of Tokyo, commented that after Rio+20 there had been a focus on the two major issues of going green and poverty reduction: “We have to disseminate information as quickly as possible, from Asia to the world. The database can be a significant help in achieving that goal.”

The final agenda items covered another core GP project, the Eco-products International Fairs (EPIFs). Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee for the EPIF and Vice Chairperson of the GPAC Kazuyuki Sakai remarked that, “The main target of the EPIF 2013 has been transformed from the previous B2C (business-to-consumer) to the B2B (business-to-business) model based on the needs of the host country and interest of participating industries.” He added that the Japanese government was also supporting the event through the Japan Pavilion under the sponsorship of the Ministry of the Environment. “This is a first for the EPIF to receive such support from the Ministry of the Environment, and I would like to thank all who cooperated in this matter,” concluded Vice-Chairperson Sakai.

An update on preparations for the eighth EPIF in Singapore, 14–16 March 2013, was given by representative of local organizer, Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore’s EPIF 2013 Events Organizer and local implementing agency Jan Tan, who noted that, “Trade visitors will have a unique opportunity to interact with both private and government entities in one venue.” She added that this “is an innovative way to connect for new environmental business.”

The GPAC meeting then heard a presentation by Dr. Tain-Jy Chen, Director of the Green Trade Project Office, Ministry of Economic Affairs of the ROC, which will host the EPIF in 2014. He reported that, “The ROC is ready to organize the exhibition. Among the proposed highlights of the exhibition are the International Green Classics Award competition, low-carbon guidelines, and carbon footprinting.”

The meeting unanimously agreed to continue supporting the APO’s GP Program. APO Secretary-General Ryuichiro Yamazaki closed the meeting by emphasizing the important role of GP in the APO’s mission of helping to develop a sustainable society and thanked all GPAC members for their support.

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